Denish Sahadevan, a TikTok influencer with over 630,000 followers, has pleaded guilty to money laundering. Sahadevan admitted to fraudulently obtaining more than $1.2 million in government relief loans, which he then laundered through cryptocurrency.

Sahadevan’s scheme began in March 2020, when he applied for four Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) and Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans for businesses he controlled.

He submitted fraudulent and fabricated documents, such as tax forms and bank statements, to support his applications. Sahadevan also illegally obtained the identity information of a tax preparer without their knowledge.

Sahadevan was approved for $146,000 in PPP benefits and $283,900 in EIDL loans. He deposited the ill-gotten proceeds into bank accounts he had created for that purpose.

Sahadevan then laundered the money by investing in trading securities and cryptocurrencies. He also used some of the money to pay off his debts and cover some of his female friend’s expenses.

In December 2021, Sahadevan applied for a $1,336,000 loan from a financial institution. He failed to mention the $283,900 EIDL loan he had received from the US government earlier on. The financial institution approved the loan, and Sahadevan used the funds to purchase a property in Potomac, Maryland.

On February 23, 2023, the US Department of Justice (DoJ) executed a search warrant at Sahadevan’s residence. The DoJ recovered multiple devices, a can containing 18 driver’s licenses belonging to other individuals, a gold physical Bitcoin in a black case, and $17,043 in cash.

Sahadevan has pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud, one count of aggravated identity theft, and one count of money laundering.

He is scheduled to be sentenced on September 21, 2023. He faces up to 20 years in federal prison for wire fraud, 10 years for money laundering, and a mandatory two years for aggravated identity theft.